Escalation in Healthcare Data Breaches

Escalation in Healthcare Data Breaches

The number of healthcare data breaches reported in the United States has increased for the third month in a row.

Records kept by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) indicate that the total number of reported data breaches impacting the US health sector in 2021 is likely to be higher than the total reported in any previous year. 

In November, the OCR received reports of 68 data breaches in which 500 or more health records were exposed. This number was 15.25% higher than the 59 breaches reported in October. 

While August saw only 38 such breaches reported, 47 breaches were reported in September. The total number of data breaches of 500 or more records reported to the OCR from January 1 to November 30 is 614.

The worst month for data breaches in the healthcare sector so far this year has been June, in which 70 breaches of 500 or more records were reported. July and November tied for second worst month, with 68 breaches reported in each month.

While the number of individual data breaches has been increasing in recent months, the total number of records impacted by data breaches has

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